tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS November 13, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
>> couric: tonight, the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and four accomplices are going on trial in civilian court just blocks from ground zero. i'm katie couric. also tonight, the alleged fort hood gunman could be facing the death penalty. and his lawyer says major nidal malik hasan may be paralyzed from the waste down. a eureka moment-- nasa says there's water on the moon and lots of it. and on the waterfront-- a triumph of the american spirit. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> and good evening, everyone. a new administration, a new and different plan for bringing alleged terrorists to justice.
attorney general eric holder announced today the man who admits he planned the 9/11 attackes that killed nearly 3,000 people, khalid sheikh mohammed, will be tried not by the military but by a federal civilian court. and the government will almost certainly seek the death penalty. president obama traveling in asia today said mohamed will be subject to the most exacting demands of justice. bob orr tells us, mohammed will be tried, along with four accomplices, here in new york city, not far from where the world trade center stood until september 11, 2001. >> reporter: eight years after the most devastating terror attack on american soil, the accused architects of 9/11 will be transferred from military custody at guatanamo bay, where they've been held for years, to a federal lockup in new york and tried in a civilian courthouse just blocks from ground zero. >> i fully expect to direct prosecutors to seek the death penalty against each of the
alleged 9/11 conspirators. >> reporter: khalid sheikh mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11, is the headline defendant. but the others are also major al qaeda players. walid bin attash is accused of iranning terror camps. ramzi binalshibh, the government says, trained the 9/11 hijack and money man ali abdul aziz ali allegedly helped pay for the attacks. john cartier, who lost his brother, james, on 9/11, is looking forward to confronting the suspects. >>. >> look these guys right in the eye and maybe have a few choice words for them. >> reporter: but other families are angry with the obama administration's decision to bring top suspected terrorists to the united states. >> my son was murdered, inhumanely murdered by terrorists. >> reporter: judith reece, who cluchd a photo of her dead son, sailed the al qaeda suspects
might cause more pain once they are moved to new york. >> they are going to be able to sit and gloat over what they've done. >> reporter: beyond the emotional worries are legal concerns about the case. the subjects were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, for years held in secret prisons with now access to attorneys, and khalid sheikh mohammed's confession came after he was waterboarded 183 times in one month. still, cbs news legal analyst andrew cohen says the government can prevail. >> the fact that khalid sheikh mohammed is going to stand trial in federal government in new york means the government has extra evidence that doesn't rely upon his statements, that it feels it can win a case without this waterboarding information. >> reporter: and the justice department has a strong record this terror cases with an 88% conviction rate. the blind shake abdul rahman, and world trade center bomber ram zee youseff were convicted in new york. some critics worry another high-profile terror trial will make new york more of a target
for radicals, but eric holder said security forces will be ready. >> i'm quite confident they can meet the security challenges posed by this case. >> reporter: it will be several months before any trial can begin. in fact, the prisoners won't be transferred to new york signal some time after the first of the year. and not all top al qaeda prisoners will be moved to civilian courts. attorney general holder also said today the accused mastermind of the uss "kohls" bombings and others will face military trials and other top terror suspects at gitmo remain in legal limbo. >> couric: in all the suspects have already admitted their guilt, where a trial? >> they have essentially confessed many of them in a number of forums. when i was at the military tribunal at guatanamo bay, khalid sheikh mohammed, for example, stood up many times and plead guilty to a number of terror atrocities, said he wanted to diabetes, wanted to be a mar tir and said his coconspirators would also plead guilty but the government still neeldz to prove the case or at least get guilty verdicts and attorney general holder thinks that will happen.
>> couric: this is a major step forward president obama's promise of shutting guantanamo down. so what happens next? >> reporter: it's still a mess, katie. there are still 200 prisoners at guatanamo bay. many of them will be sent to other countries. some will be released. there is stilla i hard core number of 10 to 12 troofss that they don't know what to do with. the problem of guantanamo today took a political casualty of sorts. we learned white house chief counsel greg craig announced his intention to design. he was behind the proposal to shut down guantanamo. >> bob orr reporting from washington tonight. thanks very much. like the 9/11 plot ethe army officer arrested in the fort hood massacre could also face the death penalty. but right now, major nidal malik hasan, wound by police who ended the rampage, is facing extremely serious medical problems. here's our chief investigative correspondent armen keteyian. >> reporter: shortly after meeting with hasan for an hour,
his attorney, retired colonel john galligan, informed reporters his client was unable to move from the waist down, the result of four gunshot wounds. >> i'm being told it's a condition that's unlikely to change. in other words, he will remain as he is now, paralyzed. >> reporter: this morning on the "early show" galligan said hasan appeared coherent but remains in bad shape. >> he understands who i am. we can talk. he knows what time it is. but i could tell at the end of that one-hour session, i was kind of pushing limits in terms of my ability to keep him fresh and alert in a discussion with me. >> reporter: if hasan, who remains heavily sedated, is judged competent to stand trial, it will be in a military courtroom. in the past 25 years, 15 members of military have been sentenced to death. if convicted, hasan could face the death penalty by lethal injection. >> it's extremely rare for military personnel to receive a
death sentence. our military justice system definitely not blood thirsty. >> reporter: even though 15 have been sentenced to death, the last time the military actually executed one of its own was back in 1961. katie. >> couric: armen keteyian, armen thank you. now turning to some extreme weather from the carolinas up to new york. they're month up after a storm that pounded the east coast for three days with strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding. the worst damage was on the mid-atlantic coast where parts of virginia beach were actually swept away. at least seven deaths are blamed on the storm, and the coast guard today called off the search for three misses fishermen whose boat sachk two days ago in rough seas off new jersey. now to breaking news far beyond the earth. there is, indeed, water on the moon. nasa said today that crash test last month kicked up about 25 gallons, and a lot morealize lies frozen beneath the moon's south pole. our science and technology correspondent daniel sieberg reports the discovery could be a
big help to future astronauts. >> reporter: the lunar splash surprised everyone, including nasa scientists. they expected to find justice teaspoons of water. instead... >> we found maybe about a dozen of these two-gallon buckets worth of water. >> and liftoff. >> reporter: in october, nasa sent a spacecraft hurtling into a crater near the moon's south pole. just this week, researchers found the chemical markers that indicate frozen water. >> now we have so much more to explore and so much more to find out. >> reporter: if there is significant amounts of water, it could be broken down into elements for rocket fuel or even provide drinking water for astronauts, paving the way for a possible lunar base. but that still is well beyond the horizon. >> it's one thing to know ice exists on the moon. it's another thing to be able to get it out of the ground in quantities that usable. >> reporter: still, it's a giant leap from a supposedly dusty dry moon neil armstrong and buzz
aldrin visited 40 years ago. >> it's not jur father's moon. rather than a dead and unchanging world, it could in fact be a very dynamic and interesting one. >> reporter: a moon that we may now all look at just a little differently. daniel sieberg, cbs news, new york. >> couric: now to the continuing debate over the health care reform in this country. senate democrats are expected to bring their long-awaited bill to the floor next week, and just as in the house, which passed its version last week, the senate is divided over the issue of abortion. nancy cordes explains. >> reporter: fight over abortion has now become a thorn in the side of both parties. it all started when anti-abortion right democrats led by michigan's bart stupak began demanding health care reform include strict new language banning abortion coverage. >> what i'm saying to a number of my colleagues, democrat colleagues are saying no public funding for abortion, period. >> reporter: since 1976,
government rules have prohibited abortion coverage in federally funded plans. so federal employees, medicaid recipients, and women in the military do not have abortion coverage, except in extreme cases like rape. but the health care reform bill creates an unpress dent scenario with millions of low-income americans getting some federal assistance to help them buy insurance. stupak's amendment bars any kb woman who gets 99 a dollar of that federal funding from buying a plan that contains abortion coverage. >> i remember the days of back-alley abortions and this amendment takes us one step back to those dark days. >> reporter: the amendment passed with the support of 64 democrats and all but one republican. now, the traditionally pro-abortion rights democratic party is at a crossroads. >> this is an internal fight, a civil war within the democratic party. >> reporter: that war spilled over into the g.o.p. thursday when politico revealedded that even the republican national
committee provides coverage for elective abortions in its health care plan. rnc chairman michael steele swiftly axd the policy saying, "money from our loyal donors should not be use forward this purpose." now, a group of women democratic senators is scrambling to try to find a compromise on the abortion funding issue, but even if they succeed, there are still a number of other thorny issues like the public option that are deeply dividing democrats. katie. >> couric: nancy cordes on capitol hill, nan see, thank you. and coming up next right here on the cbs evening news, the food americans throw out could feed new york city for an entire year. these volunteers are saving as much of it as they can. my two granddaughters are my life. they always ask me, grandma, take me here, grandma, take me there. but with my occasional irregularity i wasn't always up to it.
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machinist job, too. >>un, we put a lot of trust in god, but then you get scared, too. we're human, and that side of us says, you know, what are we going to go? >> reporter: thankfully how they'll afford groceries is answered with donated food. >> my wife and i have, like i say, you can tell we haven't, you know, gone hungry. >> reporter: but the preparation behind carol and dan's meal was a lot more involved than you might think. in fact, it all would have been trash just one day before. if not for forgotten harvest. >> anybody with donations, please bring them to the back. >> reporter: a nonprofit group that crisscrosses detroit in 21 refrigerated trucks. they're on a daily mission to rescue some of the food that would otherwise be thrown out by grocery stores, restaurants, and even stadiums. they say the average grocery store can toss out as much as 1200 pounds of food a day. >> it's all about just in time
risk ewing the food because it's all highly perishable. it has to be rescued today and distributed today. >> reporter: susan goodell runs the operation, which salvaged more than 12 million meals last year. >> the food is perfectly good. it's highly nutritious. but for one reason or another it's just not saleable. >> reporter: from oddly shaped veggies to meats or milk at its "sell by" date, it's sorted and shipped out to more than 150 detroit-area pantries and soup kitchens. it's a staggering number. more than 96 billion pounds of food goes to waste every year in the nuts yoouts. that's more than a quarter of all food available in this country. if just 10% of that wasted food could be recovered twould feed everyone in new york city three meals a day for an entire year. >> one, one, and one. >> reporter: on this day, some of what's rescued winds up at open door ministry, where carol and dan zimnie volunteer.
>> when it's the reverse, when you're the one that needs the handout, it's a little harder. >> reporter: while the work doesn't pay, it does put food on the table. >> it's very healthy food. it's good food and it's things we wouldn't have money to buy. >> thank you, lord, for this. >> reporter: from what would have been waste comes a recipe for relief. seth doane, cbs news, detroit. in great shape. so i was surprised when my doctor told me i still had high cholesterol. that really hit me, and got me thinking about my health. i knew i had to get my cholesterol under control. but exercise and eating healthy weren't enough for me. now i trust my heart to lipitor. (announcer) when diet and exercise are not enough, adding lipitor has been shown to lower bad cholesterol 39 to 60%. lipitor is backed by over 17 years of research. lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant
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tokyo tonight, the first stop on a four-nation tour, visits to sing bor, china, and south korea will follow. the president met today with japan's prime minister and in a speech tonight, mr. obama warns north korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program or face tough retribution from the u.s. and its asian partners. the president also has a message for chine. >> -- don't rely on u.s. consumers to boost your economy. celia hatton in beijing has more on the ripple effect of the recession. >> reporter: it's been a hectic year for edward kang. the head of one of china's biggest textile manufacturers relied on american customers like eddie bauer and the gap to fuel his $17 million business. but now, flatlining u.s. orders mean he's hustling to keep his sewing machines humming. "we had to reorganize ourselves to adapt to the situation," he explained. normally, these workers would be rushing to finish clothes to fill american stores this holiday season, but instead,
they're work overtime sewing jackets that will be sold in china, a 25% drop in u.s. retail orders means this company is switching more of its business to chine chinese labels. other manufacturers are following suit. kang all opened lagogo, a chain of stores across china that's breaking the country's dependence on foreign exports, something toy manufacturer peter lee wishes he'd done earlier. his factory was bitsy with u.s. orders last december, but now it's on the verge of closing. "we've already finish christmas items for america," he says. "i only have a third of my workers left, just waiting to make things for easter and valentine's day." it's the same all over china. u.s. shoppers used to be the chinese economy's salvation. now after years of double-digit growth, exports to america dropped almost 17% compared to the first nine months of 2008, a
$32 billion difference. even factories with soiled order sheets are affected. phillip cheng makes half of world's sports helmets. he's been forced to invest more to keep the company running. "lots of our suppliers have closed," he explains. "we have to hire more workers and get more materials to cover for them." and how will these changes impact american christmas shop therz season? if china is any indication, the malls won't stock more than the basics stins store byers are only ordering the bare minimum. >> the quantities that we saw a year ago or two years ago or three years ago are not there. i would guess they're half. >> reporter: so chinese factories continue to adapt or close down while they wait to see if, come christmastime, americans will reopen their wallets. celia hatton, cbs news, beijing rchlth back in this krish the couple behind the balloon hoax in colorado pleaded guilty today richard heene to felony charges
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sometimes life can take an unexpected and very cruel turn. how we deal with it can show what we're really made of. john blackstone has the story of a 55-year-old woman who shows the world she has the american spirit. >> reporter: training starts early at the marin rowing club where competitive crews arrive well before dawn. but to one rower, the morning darkness makes no difference. aerial gilbert is blind. >> i don't want to be in a boat just because they think, oh, let's feel sorry for the blind lady. no i want to earn my spot on the boat because i earned it. >> reporter: to earn her spot, she's on the dock by 5:30 in the morning, at least three days a week. merguide dock, splash, is never far away. but on the boat, where every or has to move in unison, aerial has to make it work without her eyes. >> when i'm rowing i'm listening to the oars turning in the oar locks and i'm feeling the swing of the boat.
>> reporter: but before she reached these calm waters, arieal life was stormy, marked by anger and depression. >> for the first six months airfare lost my sight, i didn't go anywhere. i didn't do anything. i didn't think i could do anything. >> reporter: she lost her sight because someone tampered with a bottle of eye drops on a drugstore shelf, filling it with drain cleaner. arieal was the unlucky person who bought the bottles. >> opened both eyes and dropped them in and life changed in a moment. >> reporter: that was 21 years ago. she was 34, and suddenly helpless. >> couldn't even get the toothpaste to stick to my toothbrush. >> reporter: for aerial the american spirit means sharing with others, so she's worked to human blind people across the country to discover rowing. >> hi, honey! >> reporter: and at guide dogs for the blind, she works to help others connect with just the right dog. >> i knew no matter what i wanted to accomplish i could do it with my dog by my side. >> here we go, marin!
>> reporter: more most recent accomplishments include participating in fall in the largest two-day rowing event in the krirk the head of the charles regatta in boston. arial's coach said she brings more than half-to the boat. >> the key i think between a winning crew and not is that mental strength. >> reporter: and with that mental strength, aerial has found ways to brighten the darkness for herself and for others. black, cbs news, larkspur, california. >> couric: what a great story. and if you know someone who embodies the american spirit, please go to cbsnews.com. until then, good night, and on this friday the 13th, good luck. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
well, the rain has finally stopped in most of our area but tonight parts of maryland, dc and virginia will have to wait a while to dry out completely. let's get to topper shutt in the weather center. top? >> well, the rain is pretty much over for the time being. we are looking at the possibility of flooding. the coastal flood advisories have been extended through 7 p.m. tomorrow. it will get us through a couple more series of tides. for on the water or the bay or potomac be advised you are not done yet. it may get higher before it recedes a little bit. rainfall amounts the last 48 hours over an inch just about everywhere. patuxent river, four inches in the last